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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Does Landlord owe us for electricity bills?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Oregon.

    I moved into my last home in August of 07. I was not the main leaseholder on the unit, but I did sign a rental agreement with the owner of the house. It's a three bedroom house/apartment.... It used to be a much bigger house that was remodeled into four separate units (three upstairs apartments, and our three bedroom downstairs unit). There was one washer and dryer, located through a locking door in our kitchen. All tenants used the washer and dryer. There was also a backdoor leading into it, that had a separate lock which we didn't have the keys to, mostly for the other tenants.

    In the middle of July, our landlord issued the leaseholder, my roommate Clinton, a 45 day notice, saying that he had sold the house. Every month, I pay 380 dollars plus utilities to Clinton, and he pays our landlord by check. Clinton has been behind paying him rent, and it was recently brought to my attention that he was a full month behind the day I was moving out.

    That same day, our landlord was fixing a toilet in one of the upstairs units, and a pipe exploded, and flooded through the ceiling over Clinton's bedroom, pooling onto his mattress.

    So far the two are at a standoff. Clinton is stating that he won't pay him any of the money he owes him (which means he basically pocketed my rent money for this past month) unless our landlord compensates him somehow for the ruined mattress.

    It has also come to our attention that our landlord did NOT sell the house, and the eviction was due to nonpayment. At the same time we received the notice, one of the upstairs tenants was told the same thing, and was given a 30 day notice due to noise complaints. The other two tenants still currently occupy the building.

    Since we all moved out before the end of August, we turned the electricity off. When going back into the unit a few days later to clean the place up, it was noticed that all the electricity had been turned back on, only in our landlords name.

    Lo and behold, when we turned it off, he suddenly began receiving complains from the other two tenants about how their porch lights and stair lights weren't working, and neither were the washer or dryer. And they didn't have any hot water.

    I honestly have no idea where to go from here. Do you have any sort of advice about what I can do? Should I cut my losses and go?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    So what’s the problem? You are renting a home and all the tenants are responsible for rent and utilities. That the common areas and the W&D are running on electricity that all are paying for should not be an issue. The electric cost should have been averaged between all tenants. Do you have any proof you were overcharged?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Since you moved away and the electric was not in your name I see it as a hard uphill battle to prove to the court that you paid more than you should have due to hall lighting ,laundry and hot water being hooked up to a elect meter that wasnt in your name. NOW if this was never disclosed to your former roomate in a lease and both of you want to pursue this in small claims court the only way I see it working is to talk one of the remaining two tenants into letting a building inspector in to verify that the laundry , house lights and only hot water heater were connected to the meter clint paid for. BUT I have a hard time seeing a current resident doing that because they would be cutting own throat , LL might just give them proper notice to get out OR they would end up with a new lease that requires them to pay a higher rent if they wanted to stay.

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